The Kahr PM9 and PM40 Pistols

By Chuck Hawks

Kahr PM9
Illustration courtesy of Kahr Arms.

Kahr Arms specializes in 9x19 and .40 S&W caliber autoloading pistols. They primarily produce compact and sub-compact models intended for concealed carry. All Kahr guns are "Made with pride in the U.S.A."

Kahr claims the best size to caliber ratio in the business and at this time the smallest and lightest of the Kahr offerings are the PM9 and PM40. These are described as "Micro compact double action only polymer frame models."

The basic specifications for the PM9 are as follows: Caliber 9x19 Luger/Parabellum; Capacity 6+1; Trigger weight 7-10 pounds; Barrel 3.0" with polygonal rifling; Overall length 5.3"; Height 4.0"; Slide width .90"; Weight 15.9 ounces (with magazine); Sights fixed, low profile combat type; Magazines one 6-round with flush baseplate, and one 7-round with grip extension.

The PM40 is chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge. It is nearly identical to the PM9, but its magazines hold 5 and 6 cartridges respectively. The PM40 weighs 1 ounce more than the PM9, and it is .05" longer overall. Otherwise the two models are identical. Tritium night sights are optional for all PM-series pistols. Kahr pistols come with a limited lifetime warranty.

At 15 yards, 5 shot groups fired two handed over an impromptu rest with a PM9 averaged about 3" center to center and were clustered just above the point of aim. 25 yard groups fired from a bench rest were only slightly larger. The PM9, while certainly no target pistol, delivers satisfactory accuracy for its intended purpose of close range self defense. During the three range sessions conducted for this article, reliability proved to be 100%. There were no malfunctions of any kind.

Recoil is sharp, as expected from such a light 9mm pistol, but not actually unpleasant. The PM40 kicks considerably more than the PM9 and could be difficult for an inexperienced shooter to control for a fast second shot. The muzzle blast from the short barrel is quite loud in 9x19, and deafening in .40 S&W.

These Kahr pistols are lighter and handier than the Walther, SIG, and Beretta .380 pistols, far more powerful, at least as safe and reliable, and made in the U.S.A. Anyone considering a sub-compact semi-automatic pistol for concealed carry owes it to themselves to check out the PM-series Kahr pistols.

Note: A complete review of the Kahr PM9 pistol can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.